All of Jack Lewars's Comments + Replies

Concerns about AMF from GiveWell reading - Part 1

I think you should be cautious about statements like:

"More cynically, maybe the data did not demonstrate a significant reduction in malaria and that in itself was taken as evidence that the data was low quality."

From reading your post, you don't seem to have any evidence for this at all and it doesn't seem like you've made any effort to find any evidence (e.g. by asking AMF). If that is indeed the case, this suggestion is baseless.

The Cost of Rejection

Is there an argument here for trying to spread more of a Growth Mindset in EA? I don't want to diminish the hurt of rejection that people feel by implying that they just need to reframe it and everything will be fine - but the approach of seeing challenges/failures as learning experiences can be genuinely transformative for people.

In general, I think developing a growth mindset is incredibly valuable, and I wonder if this is something Training for Good could look at.

The Cost of Rejection

This exactly chimes with my experience. I've been hiring for 10 years now, and the range in application volume has been 10-200 for a position. 

In particular, I've been using an opt-in for feedback for years and my experience has also been that this is requested by a very low volume of people (I'd actually guess at 5% for early rejections, rising to 75% if they did an interview, at which point most people seem to want feedback).

For what it's worth, I think this is a moral issue as well - we have a duty to the community to try to give useful feedback wh... (read more)

Research Topics in Nonprofit Operations

What is the legal and practical feasibility of a global DAF that could facilitate tax deductible donations from any wealthy country to any charity registered in a different country (but not registered in the home country of the donor)? Practical considerations would need to include FX risk.

Or, to put it another way, how might we build a platform to let people in India or China donate to Malaria Consortium?

Follow ups to 'Personal Finance for Generous People' event

There is now a Slack channel for continued discussions about EA and FIRE in the Global EA Discussion Slack. If you'd like to be added, please DM me your email address

Has anyone checked out Noora Health?

This isn't my area of expertise, but a quick review suggests that they are basing the numbers on a single study, which wasn't an RCT - it was a 'before and after' with an attempt at a control group.

That doesn't mean it isn't worth looking into, for sure, but I could equally believe that the extra rigour of an RCT could move the cost per lives saved from ~$1200 to a number several times higher than that.

It still merits furthers investigation though.

Who could advise on evaluating and driving social impact for a high-leverage technology provider for non-profits?

I don't know if this counts as a conflict of interest, but my wife is an M&E consultant. She ordinarily evaluates international aid projects but might be able to help with this. Let me know if you'd like an introduction

1mifeet6moThanks! I'll keep that as an option and I'll see what's the response after the meeting.
What Makes Outreach to Progressives Hard

Thanks for the mention :-)

Not sure how helpful this is, but grad schools typically move more money (certainly per pledger/per student/per class etc. and often in naive terms). We have no idea yet of the long term changes in attitudes/actions and how those relate to school-type.

Also FWIW someone just started raising OFTW pledges at HLS and is absolutely crushing it - about $20k/annum of pledges in about a fortnight!

2Cullen_OKeefe8moAh great, very happy to hear about the broader success. Seems like the causes may have been more local to my approach while leading HLSEA.
Would an interactive table help you to make donation decisions or understand the EA charity space better? If so, what filters would you want?

Interesting project mate. One use case - I am always interested to know what the total 'value' of the community's donation is. Indeed, I ended up doing a  back-of-an-envelope  version of this for a presentation in December, using publicly available donations data. The issue is that everyone reports data over different time periods/in different formats, and there's also a very real risk of double-counting quite a few donations, and so it's tricky to do. 

I'd be interested to keep track of a) total donations influenced by EA; and b) trends in giving over time.

How we promoted EA at a large tech company (v2.0)

Thanks Jan - looking forward to hearing from you!

Are there EA-aligned organizations working on improving the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility/corporate giving strategies?

Will send you an email :-) you might also be interested in my post here, although it's only tangentially-related

Why we should grow One for the World chapters alongside EA student groups

It might be useful context to some of the comments below to highlight this page on our resource for our volunteers, which encapsulates for me how we talk about EA within OFTW (and how we signpost people to find out more): https://chapters.1fortheworld.org/info/effective-altruism-thinking/ (props to Vaidehi for helping us revise this and make it better this summer)

Why we should grow One for the World chapters alongside EA student groups

Hey Vaidehi - I hope you're well :-)

Just on the factual questions:

  1. ~12 - this includes some where the EA group explicitly runs the OFTW content, and some where the two just peacefully coexist. Collaboration is broadly positive but not consistent in method or depth.
  2. Hard to say - I would guess that around 1/3 know about nothing except effective giving, 1/3 know a bit about EA but are mainly focussed on effective giving and 1/3 are very knowledgeable about EA/fully committed EAs themselves.

To pick up two of your risks above:

  • OFTW chapters are certainly vulnerab
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2vaidehi_agarwalla1yThanks for the information Jack! To clarify my points a little: Agreed that EA student groups (and most student groups) are vulnerable to this. I think my prior here is that EA groups would be more likely to to collaborate/work with the OFTW group because there are more obvious reasons to (the benefits Sabrina mentioned in the most) However it's very possible (and maybe even fairly likely) that and smaller EA groups perhaps shrinks or stops existing due to leadership handover reasons, while the OFTW group doesn't. I don't think this would be a very bad outcome, as I mentioned above I think I think I was unclear earlier, and I should have added more nuance. I don't think this is a direct risk, or that OFTW materials imply this, but rather that these are the associations people will make to EA if that's the only perspective they see or know that most about. I think this is probably more true if OFTW chapters become very prevalent across US universities, much more so than EA chapters.
Why we should grow One for the World chapters alongside EA student groups

Hi Alex - these are very good points and largely correct, I think - thanks for contributing them. I've added some thoughts and mitigations below:

  1. Yes, we definitely do anchor around poverty. I think this can be good 'scaffolding' to come into the movement; but sometimes it will anchor people there. It is worth noting, though, that global health and poverty is consistently the most popular cause area in the EA survey, so there are clearly other factors anchoring to this cause area - it's hard to say how much OFTW counterfactually increases this effect (and w
... (read more)
Why we should grow One for the World chapters alongside EA student groups

Hi Brian - Jack here (ED at OFTW). Thanks for your thoughtful questions and it looks like Sabrina ha answered them really well :-)

Some quick additions:

  • as Sabrina says, activation is moderate (~2/3). However, our models suggest that we would still provide decent ROI at even 50% activation rates. One advantage that we have is that we process all our donations ourselves and so actually know our activation and retention rates, where a lot of pledge orgs have to estimate them. My reading of our data is that most orgs are extremely optimistic in their assumpti
... (read more)
Why we should grow One for the World chapters alongside EA student groups

Hi guys - Jack here (Executive Director at OFTW). Sabrina makes some great points here. I would add as well that we need to be mindful of how much the average American is giving to effective charities. You're right, @Larks, that persuading people to give 1% to effective charities would be odd, if the average person would give 3% to them - but, of course, the average American gives ~0% to effective charities! We have introduced some checkout questions to give us an indication of this 'counterfactual' argument ('how much do you already give (if anything) to GiveWell's charities?') and also have some students at Yale researching typical giving trends for graduates to give us a proxy control group.

How we promoted EA at a large tech company

Hi Naryan - this sounds like great work, well done. One for the World may be able to help you with your 2020 plans (www.1fortheworld.org). We're a network of people giving 1% of their income to the GiveWell charities and have a couple of chapters in Canada. My email is jack [at] 1fortheworld [dot] org - please do get in touch!

Did Fortify Health receive $1 million from EA Funds?

Hi HStencil

Thanks for your time in raising the points above. To introduce myself, I am the new Executive Director of One for the World. I think you make some very important points and we have taken action to address several of them.

I'm pleased that the thread seems largely to have been resolved positive. However, to respond directly on our own behalf:

  • We take your point that we could be seen as a marketing investment by GiveWell. I think it slightly understates/misstates our work to suggest that we are a publicity effort or advertising campaign, but I
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3HStencil2yHi Jack, thank you so much for your thorough response to my concerns. I have seen the additions to your website, and I think they’re great. I should also note that I think One for the World is doing laudable and important work. I did not intend to suggest otherwise. As you say, I believe you “could be seen” as a publicity effort for GiveWell, but I certainly do not believe that characterization accurately captures the full scope of your activities or of your role in the broader EA ecosystem. On a similar note, I apologize for missing the acknowledgements of your financial relationship with GiveWell in the blog posts you mentioned and in your 2018 annual report. I admit I simply was not looking that hard for disclosures – I just browsed what I took to be the main pages of your website. I am thrilled to see that these pages now feature a similar (or greater) level of transparency. Finally, I am glad to hear that you are engaged in efforts to reduce your reliance on GiveWell for funding and that GiveWell is supporting you in those efforts. That strikes me as an excellent best practice. Thanks again for your response, for the changes, and for all of the great work you’re doing at One for the World.